Backlash from Barring Two US Lawmakers from Entering Israel and Occupied Palestine
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Trump and Netanyahu were complicit in barring Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from entering the Jewish state and Occupied Palestine.
The move backfired, opposed by AIPAC and other Zionist lobby groups. Even the one-sided pro-Israel/anti-Palestinian NYT and Washington Post objected — though by no means how they should have.
When it comes to supporting right over wrong, US-led Western media are AWOL most always.
Barring Omar and Tlaib from Israeli-controlled territory showed apartheid viciousness, contempt toward Arabs and Muslims, disdain toward the rule of law, and one of many forms state terror — a US/Israeli specialty.
The Times mainly slammed Trump for what happened, its fury over his defeat of media darling Hillary unabated, bashing him largely for the wrong reasons, ignoring the most important right ones.
It was much of the same from WaPo, accusing Trump of “trampl(ing) on innumerable American democratic norms and traditions” that don’t exist, adding:
“(F)ew instances have been as egregious as his public intervention Thursday urging Israel to deny entry to a pair of US members of Congress who planned to visit the country this weekend.”
Tweeting Omar and Tlaib “hate Israel & all Jewish people…They are a disgrace” was typical Trump rage.
Yet it was a minor drop in an ocean of high crimes against peace and the rule of law at home and abroad — what he and the vast majority of others in Washington are guilty of, past and present.
Netanyahu has an extremist/hostile mind of his own. Barring entry to Omar and Tlaib showed he leaned this way without Trump’s urging — even though he might have OK’d their visit, likely with unacceptable restrictions offered Tlaib when reversing his ban.
She rejected his move, refusing to visit her grandmother in Occupied Palestine “under…oppressive conditions meant to humiliate me would break my grandmother’s heart,” adding:
“It would kill a piece of me that always stands up against racism and injustice” — what Ziofascist apartheid Israel is all about.
The Times, WaPo, and other establishment consistently suppress what’s most important to report — supporting US/NATO/Israeli high crimes instead of forthrightly denouncing them.
The Global BDS Movement “condemn(ed) Israel’s decision” to bar Omar and Tlaib from visiting the Jewish state and Occupied Palestine — because they “support Palestinian freedom,” rejected by Washington and Tel Aviv, adding:
The Netanyahu and Trump regimes “put (themselves) on (a) par with apartheid South Africa in the past, and other rogue regimes in the present.”
As the Global BDS Movement grows, “Israel is desperately intensifying its McCarthyite war on (the initiative) and on people of conscience who stand in solidarity with our pursuit of freedom, justice and equality.”
“(W)e call for escalating pressure on Congress to implement the Leahy Law, which conditions US military aid to other governments on their respect for human rights, by cutting US military aid to Israel.”
The vast majority of Republicans and undemocratic Dems support the Jewish state. Nothing remotely suggests a change of policy ahead — no matter how egregious its actions.
Surprisingly, WaPo gave op-ed space to B’Tselem executive director Hagai El-Ad.
He explained that if one or both congresswomen visited Occupied Palestine, they could witness firsthand what Israeli oppression is all about.
They could see “how the combination of civilian Israeli settlements, military checkpoints and the separation barrier all work together to encircle (Palestinian communities, isolate them), limit (their) development and separate (them) from the rest of the other Palestinian fragments celebrated by Israel as ‘autonomous.’ ”
Repressive Israeli law, no free societies would tolerate, bans entry to critics of the Jewish state, notably BDS activists for peace, equity and justice.
“(I)t goes much further: Because Israel controls border crossings in and out of the occupied West Bank, it also dictates who is allowed to enter and exit Palestinian territory, El-Ad explained, adding:
Barring entry to Omar and Tlaib aside, “the truth is that (Israeli oppression is) all too common on the ground.”
It’s “a daily reality for the 2 million Palestinians caged off in the Gaza strip,” and oppression of Palestinians throughout the Territories every day.
Five million Palestinians are denied their fundamental political, human and civil rights — for not being Jewish, a harsh reality establishment media ignore.
“(T)rying to hide, censor and lie about the brutal oppression of an entire people is a long-standing Israel strategy, not one invented to please Trump,” El-Ad stressed, adding:
“Israel’s record of killing or injuring Palestinians with impunity, systematically taking over their land and controlling the lives of millions through an arbitrary system of permits — while claiming that all this is ‘legal’ and democratic — is part of the infamous status quo.”
“So is its habit of attacking and trying to ban those who criticize its behavior. And US foreign policy in the face of these injustices has vacillated between disastrous and naive, acting as the cornerstone that enables Israel and provides it with almost blanket impunity.”
Almost never does a major US broadsheet publish remarks like the above by anyone, touching the right nerves — even though no change in longstanding US policy toward Israel is coming, no matter how egregious its actions.
El-Ad slammed US use of “naked force,” calling Israeli rule “ultra-nationalist…undemocratic,” and oppressive.
It’s run by right-wing extremists and religious fundamentalists, figures hostile to peace, equity and justice, waging undeclared war on millions of Palestinians.
A Final Comment
Time and again, Israeli warplanes terror-bomb Gaza, killing or wounding civilians, destroying targeted sites.
It happened again over the weekend, condemned by Hamas as “a message of escalation and aggression,” aimed at diverting attention from “acts of courage taking place in the occupied West Bank” against oppressive militarized control.
The NYT, WaPo, and at least most other establishment reported nothing about the latest Israeli aggression against defenseless Gazans.
They long ago stopped reporting anything about weekly nonviolent protests by long-suffering Gazans.
They never explained the unjustifiable use of live fire by soldiers against them, killing hundreds, wounding thousands — something far more serious than barring two US lawmakers from entering Israeli-controlled territory.
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